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Krystii Melaine
A Timeless Legacy 2016 Artist


Krystii Melaine Nitsiiyikitapiiyi
Nitsiiyikitapiiyi - I Am Fearless, Blackfeet
Krystii Melaine
Oil on linen panel
36" x 18"

Krystii Melaine Maohksikaan
Máóhksi'káán - Red Blanket, Blackfeet
Krystii Melaine
Oil on linen panel
24" x 16"

Krystii Melaine Warm Robe
A Warm Robe
Krystii Melaine
Oil on linen panel
12" x 9"

The works above appear in the
2016 A Timeless Legacy
exhibit and sale. 

Krystii Melaine
Krystii Melaine is a figurative and portrait artist on a journey of artistic exploration of the people and animals of the American West. Classically trained in the realist tradition of the old masters, Krystii captures the essence of each personality or creature and provides us with a glimpse into their lives, using the richness and subtlety of oil paints on linen to tell their stories.

Born in the Australian town of Bairnsdale, Victoria, Krystii Melaine was a quiet child who carefully observed the people and wildlife encountered in her life. Announcing at the age of four that she was going to be an artist, Krystii won her first art competition at seven. Constantly drawing and painting, she was selling paintings and accepting commissions by the age of fourteen. Following university studies in painting, drawing and graphic design, Krystii established her own fashion design company. By her early twenties she had developed it into one of the largest bridal and evening-wear companies in Australia. Employing 50 staff and showing her designs around the world gave her great insight into human nature. Through the process of designing and fitting elaborate gowns for individual clients, Krystii gained an intimate understanding of the human form and the structure of clothing, and this knowledge informs her portraiture and figurative paintings today.

A burning desire to return to painting led Krystii to five years of study in traditional tonal realism with renowned Australian artist, Graham Moore. Drawing on Moore's 80 years of artistic experience provided her with a strong background in portraiture, figurative and still life painting. A trip to the USA in 1998 rekindled her fascination with the American West and was the catalyst for her ongoing quest to develop a unique artistic interpretation within the Western Art genre. Krystii's paintings capture the many individuals encountered on her travels, recording moments in their contemporary lives, or re-creating the lives of their ancestors who shaped the history of America. Horses are an integral part of this rich tapestry of Western life, whether as the working partner of cowboys or an essential element of survival and culture for Native Americans. The distinctive wildlife of this region is another facet of Krystii's repertoire, rounding out her telling of the stories of the West.

Krystii also paints traditional portraits on commission. Her skill in capturing an accurate likeness while expressing the personality of the sitter in a strong, painterly style has led to many official and private portraits. Many of her portraits are now in permanent museum collections in the USA and Australia. The Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, recently purchased a set of three life-sized, full-length portraits of Native Americans for their permanent collection. The portraits depict a Blackfoot warrior, a Lakota warrior, and a Cheyenne woman with her two children.

In 2010, Krystii moved with her husband, author and historian Michael K. Cecil, from Australia to Spokane, Washington, to be closer to her favorite region and its people. In-depth research and hands-on experience informs her paintings, including making and beading the clothing and equipment for her Native American portraits. Once all the elements and details of a painting have been thoroughly researched and planned, Krystii sketches the composition in a loose wash of color and tone on a linen panel to establish the basic concept. Then painting alla prima, she begins at the focal point and completes each area as she works, paying careful attention to all of the myriad elements that make up a successful work of art. Her exemplary skills as a fine artist bring her subjects to life on the canvas, allowing us to personally connect with each person or animal and feel we know them.

Krystii's fine art is regularly featured in museum exhibitions including Masters of the American West at the Autry National Center, Quest For The West at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, The Russell at the CM Russell Museum, Cowgirl Up! at the Desert Cabaleros Western Museum, The Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Western Visions at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and Night of Artists at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. She has won many awards, articles about her work have appeared in numerous magazines, and she has featured in several books. Krystii has 21 paintings in museum collections in the USA and Australia, including three life-sized standing portraits of Native Americans in the Booth Western Art Museum.

Krystii Melaine's compelling oil paintings document her personal journey of discovery in the American West, capturing the varied personalities and telling their stories with all the skills of a master artist.



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